Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Part 2: Big Laurel Falls, Mooney Falls, and the Ascension Episcopal Chapel & Cemetary

Yesterday, I shared Part 1 of this post, The Wasilik Poplar Tree, Our Hike & Picnic.  As I said yesterday, we were astounded by the Wasilik Poplar, and our picnic was delightful. 

After lunch, we headed to Big Laural and then Mooney Falls

Big Laurel Falls

Mooney Falls

So the rest of the day went like this...
Big Laurel Falls is a lovely drive up the mountain from the Standing Indian Campground picnic area.  The road turns into a gravel one lane road, and you are surrounded by tall trees, the sound of a large creek, sometimes in the distance and sometimes just below or beside us, and birds, lots of birds.  At one point, you have to cross this water bridge, I love this spot, there is something so cool about driving through a creek!  That is Dick & Ursula's car in front of us.
And this is the creek out of my car windo as we crossed over it...
...I could imagine myself on a horse, 50 years ago, peacefully traveling up the mountain to see the beautiful sights (no paved assistance through the creek)...that must have been such a magical time (not that this wasn't, just different back then)!

On our hike to Big Laurel, I saw many interesting pieces of "nature art".  Cool stuff...



Finally, we made it to the falls...peaceful, wet, spashy...this is the falls, the view upon approach...

And this is Gretchen (Dick & Ursula's dog), not a very clear photo, but she was retrieving sticks like no tomorrow...too bad she didn't like to dive, because the sticks kept sinking!

Once we got our fill of Big Laurel Falls, we were off to Mooney Falls, just a bit further up the mountain.  They were lovely but very difficult to photograph. 

This is the gang, looking at the upper falls...

The best full view of Mooney Falls I could get...

FYI, this fall is much closer to the road, so the path is not very long to get there.  Big Laurel is probably a 1/2 mile hike each way.

On our way off the mountain, we stopped at the Ascension Episcopal Chapel & Cemetery, a sight filled with history, charm and sadness. 
This is the chapel...
...the cemetery...

The building is to me, the simplest, most sincere place of worship...how much closer can you get to God than in the middle of nature, with it surrounding you...I thought it was fantastic.  What was sad is there was a particular family, surname Killian, whom lost 4 children either upon their day of birth (2), a day later (1) and at 4 years of age (1).  There was what appears to have been one other child who grew to adulthood and had her own child, but my goodness, the loss in that family...the DOB's for the children went back to 1881 if I recall correctly. Another point of interest was that most of the original stones were rocks, many of which had another stone erected later in time. But there were several stones without markings or any additional headstones added...makes me wonder who those people were.  Oddly, I am not a fanatic for cemeteries, but this place definitely caught my interest. 

No ending on a sad note...:)

One of the things that made the day so magical was the fact that we were deep beneath the trees most of the day (first with the Wasilik Poplar, a special place in-and-of-itself) ...each place was was quite cool, damp most of the time, and quiet, oh so quiet.  Except of course, when we were at the falls, and then, is was noisy.  They are not huge falls, but their power is audible, and beautiful. Nature at it's simplest has a way of humbling me, and making me glad to be. 
Another thing I want to mention is Johny and I have visited these falls before.  But they were just as fabulous as the first time we saw them, in fact, I think we saw things we didn't see before.  I mention this only because if you have been to a place once, don't decide you don't want to go again because you have "been there, done that"...you will find new delights the second time, no doubt!

Thank you for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,
Lise

5 comments:

Carol said...

Dear friend,
My last name is Killian(actually my married name). Where was the cemetery? My husband is not interested,but I think my children could be. Again, I enjoy your posts!
Carol

Michelle said...

I'm happy to see that you are enjoying every day of your adventure into the woods. I love reading your blog.

Mamabug said...

Makes me want to visit these wonderful falls too! I loved the little open chapel; reminds me of the old fashion brush arbors where they used to hold campmeetings way back when. Old cemeteries are so fascinating to me; I visit as many of them as I can. They are full of history.

Lise said...

Carol, the Chapel is off near Franklin NC, you take US 64 west for 9 miles, then go left on old US 64, the chapel and cemetery will be on your right after a bit of a drive. Interesting that this is your married name...it is a beautiful place, and you could visit the falls too:)

I'm glad you are enjoying the blog Michelle!

I agree Mamabug, being there has actually piqued my interest in history even more than I was!

Glenda Council Beall said...

I've been there, Lise, and the cemetery is touching with all the babies that died in that family. I was about ten years younger when I hiked to Laurel Falls and thought I'd never make it. I know I could not today, but I'm so glad I did it once.